Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Happy Birthday, Sweet Riley Quinn!

Riley's presents from mommy and daddy and the balloons on her new pink high chair for her to wake up to!

This is it. This is your ONE year post. TWELVE months. Where has this year gone? I am in tears as I just laid you in your bed after you kissed me goodnight and said our prayers for the last time that you aren't a "baby" anymore. When you wake up in the morning, you will be ONE. I will be adding your ONE YEAR pictures to this post in just a few short hours. You are so blessed with so many people that love you, Riley Quinn.

Where do I begin? What an incredible year this has been. Incredible doesn't even begin to describe it. I can't even Google a word or find one in the dictionary. Only a mother knows the feeling I am trying to put into words but will never find a way to do so.

You make me smile like I have never smiled. You make me laugh like I have never laughed. You bring joy to my life that I never thought possible. A year... a whole year... It seems like yesterday, you were learning to crawl a day shy of four months old. I never imagined life like this. I know I have said a million times or more, but you are truly the happiest baby I have ever known. God put you on this earth to make people smile. In Target, the mall, the farmers market and even at the state fair- you smile, wave, blow kisses and say "hey!" to everyone. It melts my heart. I think my favorite is when you crawl over (yes, crawl- because even though you have been pushing a walker since July 4th and have taken 2 steps on your own, you are STILL not walking!) anyway- you crawl over to me and just kiss me. The biggest, sloppy, wet kiss and I melt. My other favorite thing you do is when you bring a book and climb into my lap and yell until I start to read to you. I love that you have such a passion for reading. You are such a smart girl.

You love: fruits and veggies, milk, baths, water, shoes, glasses, jewelry, kisses, books, dogs, disney and bean traders. (duh!)

You don't love: walking, big blue balls (ask ma momo), anything big and dressed up...

Most frequently said words: momma, dada, ma-momo, gasses (glasses), that, dog, ka (coach), papa

You can shake your head yes and no. You love milk and only have one bottle now. You've been off bottles for about a month now minus the one before bed. You drink milk in sippy cups the rest of the time. Once this can of formula is gone, this bottle will be too. You aren't attached, so I'm not worried.

Let's see. I will estimate and measure in the morning when you wake up on your actual birthday and see how close my estimates are!

Height- Born- 21.5 inches   Now- 31 inches
Weight- Born- 8lbs 9.5 oz   Now-19 lbs
1 year old today!

happy 1 year, baby girl!

I made this slideshow for your birthday party, Saturday. (So if you are coming to her party, you can wait and watch it there for some nice tears to be shared together. If not, you are welcome to watch now.)

Here she is folks!

Here are some older posts if you want to catch up-
3 weeks
11 weeks
3 months
4 months
5 months
6 months
7 months
8 months
9 months
10 months
11 months

I love you Riley Quinn.

Love, Mommy

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Maternity Session- NC State Fair

This is seriously one of the cutest ideas I have had. Yep, I'm giving myself credit. Haha. And, I am SO happy my great friend Heidi let me use her beautiful belly and self as my subject. Not to mention that sweet red headed ginger boy of hers. I am quite partial to ginger babies. ;)


~let go laughing!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

you are my everything

this little girl is my life. i don't know what i did before she came along.

~let go laughing

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

simplicity, patience and compassion

It's hard to believe that a year ago this week was the last week I spent as a full time teacher. Little did I know when I walked out those doors, I would not be returning. One of the hardest decisions I have made turned out to be one of the best. There is nothing I love more than spending my days with my sweet Riley Quinn. I cannot believe she will be one in just two short weeks. This has been the absolute most incredible year of my life and I pray it can only get better from here.
just a few minutes old. 

5 days old

6 months

11 months 

Tonight, as we began our nighttime routine, I thought back on the last year. How scared I was when it got this close that I was actually about to bring a baby home. I would be trusted to care for a life. Not a dog or a fish... a HUMAN! What was that hospital thinking?!?? Well.. apparently they knew I could handle it. He knew I could handle it.

After our bath, like every night, we read our books (yes, the same ones she picks over and over even though she has a million to choose from!), got jammies on and played in the playroom. We snuggled and read some more books. I just sat thinking to myself... "it's really been a year." A year of trying to figure things out. When we thought we had something figured out, something else was in question. How much formula should she be taking? How much should she eat? Is it Ok to eat peanut butter? How often should she have a bath? 

As a mom we are judged constantly. Judged for not breastfeeding (even though we tried our damnedest!). Judged for putting monograms on clothes (they're going to grow out of it so fast!). Judged for not working and being "lazy." (Because you know... being a mom 24/7 is definitely not a job!) *I'm hoping you are noting my sarcasm in this last paragraph... I don't think anyone should judge. We can just pray that we are doing the best we can do to provide a wonderful life for our children. And by wonderful i don't mean they have to have everything. By wonderful, I mean they need to be loved, fed and provided shelter. 

Tonight as I opened the fridge to get our her milk, a plum fell on the floor. She picked it up and played with it for a minute. Then I looked up and this silly little girl was chowing down! I let her eat half of it and took the rest to give her with breakfast tomorrow. I didn't want to ruin her dinner! She's just so stinkin' smart. 

As I look back on my first year of being a mom, I think I have done a darn good job. I have a happy baby, a healthy baby (and a pretty darn smart baby if I may say so myself.) I honestly can only remember a handful of times where I have been truly scared or stressed or panicked. I can't really think of the word I am trying to put there... Those difficult times revolved mainly in the first 6 weeks of figuring out (or not figuring out) breastfeeding and allergy issues and deciding if I was going back to work or not. I have to give so much thanks to the love, support, help and guidance from my family for being there for us so much. I couldn't have made it through this year without every single one of you. My mom and dad and husband the most. One or all of them are "on call" 24/7 if I ever need them. THAT in itself is an incredible blessing. I am thankful to God for the patience He has given me. I think I even surprised my husband. I will never forget the first few weeks home with RQ, he said to me "wow, I really thought you were going to be a stressed out basket case." (or something along those lines.)

As I finished reading our last page of "Goodnight North Carolina" tonight, I received a text from an old co-worker that reminded me of this time last year. She said "Last year this time.... :) happy early bday to ms. riley." As I thought back to the fact that this was my last week working full time, and being with my friends and co-workers, I realized that this was the plan God had for me all along. He knew I was supposed to be a mommy to this sweet, spunky, wild little red headed baby girl. Nothing makes me happier. The simplicity of laying on the floor reading books... sitting at the table watching her eat... walking down the street listening to her "sing." Standing in her room, watching her sleep.

I was always scared that I wouldn't have the patience I needed. God has given me challenges and helped me through them. He has given me so much strength and patience. As a teacher, I tended to lose my patience more quickly. (Although, I got better the longer I taught, it made me nervous.) I didn't want to be the parent that screams all the time. I have seen women screaming and raising their voices at infants and it has always broken my heart.

I think back to my past weekend trip to Target with Riley. We were there for groceries and it was packed. We walked all the isles, talking and I would tell her what we were going to get next. She of course was waving and high fiving everyone who walked by. At one point she was reaching for me and wanted out of the basket. I gave in and took her out. I then realized I couldn't push the heavy basket and hold her at the same time. When I told her it was time to go back in, she straightened her body with all her might, threw her head back and arched her back as to not put her legs anywhere close to the leg holes in the cart... She was silent. Not throwing a fit, not screaming... just silently with her body saying to me "Mom, I'm not getting in that basket!" People were looking and laughing and guess what... I was almost in tears from laughing so hard myself. After I called my mom laughing while parked in the middle of an isle at Target, she did get back in the basket... To her defense, we had been in target for likely an hour and she was in the basket the whole time being so great. When I got in the car, I continued to laugh about this situation and I even called my husband to tell them about it. I was proud of myself. In a situation where I could have easily lost my temper or had a meltdown... I didn't. (I did however get my child back in her seat so she knows who is boss!) I pray this patience continues for Riley as she grows and tests my limits further. I am in no way saying life is perfect. But I am so thankful with exactly how my life has turned out!

I could keep typing and tell Riley stories all night... Instead, I will leave you with this. If you have in fact read this entire blog of blabbering... :) 

Simplicity, patience, compassion. These three are your greatest treasures. 
Lao Tzu 

~let go laughing

Friday, October 5, 2012


I don't even know where to start. I have a hard time realizing it is October and my sweet 8lb 9.5oz, 21 inch long baby girl is about to be one. That now about 17 lb, 30 inch long baby girl is growing up so fast. I won't get all sappy on you (tonight.) That's for a blog in the near future, I am sure.

What I want to share today is the incredible abundance of happiness and joy I am filled with. After spending the evening alone with my RQ and giggling, playing, watching her explore, play with toys, climb toys... I just sat there almost in tears after I put her to bed realizing just how happy I am. A true happiness. Something I am unable to describe.

 Everyone told me "just you wait..." or "you will never sleep again..." Well. I hate to tell "them" but they were wrong. And even if Riley Quinn didn't like sleep as much as she does and always has, I wouldn't care. I have this little life. This little mini-me. This sweet child of God who counts of me for every step of her tiny little life. What could ever be better than that? Not sleep. Not being a size 0 or 2. Not having clean hair and getting dressed every day. Nothing could be better than the smile on that sweet baby girls face, knowing how much she depends on me. Nothing is better than that kiss she gives me when she wakes up each morning and grabs onto me.

Truly, nothing in this world matters more to me than this little girl. I never knew a love like this and I never knew just how much my mom must love me until I felt it myself. No one is perfect. But in my eyes, this little girl is SO perfect. She truly is always happy. My father in law even said last weekend, "most people exaggerate when they say their babies are always happy, but yours really is..." Someone else asked me (after spending the weekend with us) if RQ ever cried. Wow, have we been blessed. I know... just I wait until she is a teenager, right? Well guess what... I'm going into it with a positive attitude and praying that God continues to bless this sweet girl with her innocence and happiness.

Everyone has their issues. Everyone has struggles. It's life. I have them too. You have to be positive and look at all the things you are thankful for. I am so blessed at how things in my life have fallen into place. I never imagined this would be where I am at 27 years old. I have an incredible husband who works so hard. I never hear him complain about the long hours or the late hours or the busy days. He works so hard to allow me to be home (most of the time) with my sweet girl. I never imagined my dream job of working with kids but still being able to stay home with my daughter would fall right into place as it did. I am able to work 14 hours a week and teach first graders like I love and still spend the majority of my time with Riley. I am so thankful for this opportunity I have been given. I am so thankful that she is able to stay with her daddy or grandparents while I am away.

I am so thankful for my family. My in laws.  My friends. Without all of them, life wouldn't be the same. Riley is so blessed to have so many people love her the way they do. I could go on and on about our happiness, but I will stop here. In fact, I will probably go stand in her room and stare at that beautiful, sleeping, red headed little baby girl. The one who is growing up so quickly, right in front of my eyes.

I will leave you with this:

"Reality is the mirror of your thoughts. Choose well what you put in front of the mirror."  -Remez Sasson

~let go laughing